Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Wyatt Andrews
CBS News National Correspondent
KPIX 08/16/2013
Andrews: these new revelations are likely to increase bipartisan support for top-to-bottom surveillance reform. Pelley: and late today the white house said that the audit itself was evidence that the government is being careful.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Comey: The lesson is the importance of never becoming untethered to oversight and accountability. I want all of my new special agents and intelligence analysts to understand that portion of the FBI's history, the FBI's interaction with Dr. King, and draw from it an understanding of the dangers of falling in love with our own rectitude.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Comey: We cannot read your emails or listen to your calls without going to a federal judge, making a showing of probable cause that you are a terrorist, an agent of a foreign power, or a serious criminal of some sort, and get permission for a limited period of time to intercept those communications. It is an extremely burdensome process, and I like it that way. Pelley: That's a principle over which James Comey is willing to sacrifice his career. He proved it in 2004 when he was Deputy Attorney General. Comey was asked to reauthorize a package of top secret warrantless surveillance targeting foreign terrorists. But Comey told us "significant aspects" of the massive program were not lawful. He wouldn't be specific because it's still top secret. That was not something you were willing to stand for? Comey: No, I was the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. We were not going to authorize, reauthorize, or participate in activities that did not have a lawful basis.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Pelley: At the time, Comey was in charge at the justice department because Attorney General John Ashcroft was in intensive care with near-fatal pancreatitis. When Comey refused to sign off, the president's chief of staff, Andy Card, headed to the hospital to get Ashcroft's okay. You got in a car with lights and sirens and raced to the hospital to beat the president's chief of staff there? Comey: Yep, raced over there, ran up the stairs, got there first. Pelley: What did you tell the Attorney General, lying in his hospital bed? Comey: Not much, because he was very, very bad off. I tried to see whether he was oriented as to place and time, and it was clear to me that he wasn't. I tried to have him understand what this was about. And it wasn't clear to me that he understood what I was saying, so I sat down to wait. Pelley: To wait for Andy Card, the President's chief of staff? Comey: yeah, and then-white house counsel Gonzales.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Pelley: They spoke to Attorney General Ashcroft and said that the program should be reauthorized, and you were there to argue that it should not be. How did it end? Comey: With the Attorney General-- surprising me, shocking me by pushing himself up on his elbows, and in very strong terms, articulating the merits of the matter. And then saying, "but... but that doesn't matter, because I’m not the Attorney General." and then he turned to me and pointed and said, "there's the Attorney General." And then he fell back, and they turned and left. Pelley: You'd won the day? Comey: Yeah, I didn't feel that way. Pelley: How did you feel? Comey: Probably a little sick, and a little sense of unreality that this was happening.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Pelley: He (James Comey) left the letter on his desk, and he and FBI Director Robert Mueller went to the white house to resign. Comey: Yeah. We stood there together, waiting to go meet the president, looking out at the rose garden, both of us knowing this was our last time there and the end of our government careers. Pelley: Wasn't it your responsibility to support the president? Comey: No. No, my responsibility, I took an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States. Pelley: This was something the president wanted to go forward with. and you were standing in front of the President of the United States telling him he shouldn't do it, and if he did, you'd quit. do I have that right? Comey: I don't think I expressly threatened to quit at any point. but that was understood. Pelley: President Bush was persuaded. The program that we've discussed, as I understand it, was in fact re-authorized, but in a modified form? It was made to conform to the law, in your estimation? Comey: yes.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Pelley: He's (James Comey) worried now that Apple and Google have the power to upend the rule of law. Until now, a judge could order those companies to unlock a criminal suspect's phone. But their new software makes it impossible for them to crack a code set by the user. Comey: The notion that we would market devices that would allow someone to place themselves beyond the law troubles me a lot. As a country, I don't know why we would want to put people beyond the law-- that is, sell cars with trunks that couldn't ever be opened by law enforcement with a court order, or sell an apartment that could never be entered, even by law enforcement. Would you want to live in that neighborhood? This is a similar concern. The notion that people have devices, again, that, with court orders based on a showing of probable cause in a case involving kidnapping or child exploitation or terrorism, we could never open that phone? My sense is that we've gone too far when we've gone there.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
KYW 10/12/2014
Pelley: With what the FBI can do expanding so rapidly, James Comey keeps this memo right on his desk to remind him of what the bureau shouldn't do. Marked "secret," it's a 1963 request from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover titled: "Martin Luther King, Jr. security matter - communist." Hoover requests authority for "technical surveillance" of King. The approval is signed by Attorney General Robert Kennedy. And there was no court order. It was the signature of the FBI Director and the signature of the attorney general? Comey: Yep. And then, open-ended-- no time limit, no space restriction, no review, no oversight. Pelley: And given the threats in the world today, wouldn't that make your job so much easier? Comey: In a sense, but in... also in a sense, we would give up so much that makes sure that we're rooted in the rule of law that I'd never want to make that trade.
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